How to Harden Up Peanut Butter No-Bakes

Peanut butter no-bake cookies are an ideal recipe on a hot summer day when you're craving that sweet treat taste, but dare not turn on the oven. No-bake cookies require accurately measured ingredients and exact timing. If your cookies come out too soft or too hard, consider adjusting the boiling time. Factors such as stove temperature, humidity and even stirring speed can all affect the outcome of your cookies.

A spoon scooping peanut butter from a jar. (Image: JPphoto1992/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Measure out and prepare all ingredients. Line a baking sheet or area of counter space with wax paper.

Step 2

Melt the butter and cocoa powder in the saucepan or medium heat, stirring slowly and constantly. Add the sugar and butter and continue to stir. Bring mixture to a rolling boil and begin timer.

Step 3

Allow the mixture to boil for exactly three minutes, then immediately remove from heat. Add peanut butter and vanilla and stir until the peanut butter is melted.

Step 4

Quickly add oats and stir until the oats are mixed in.

Step 5

Drop mixture by tablespoonfuls onto wax paper. Allow the cookies to cool and firm up at room temperature, at least 30 minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1 stick butter

  • 4 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 tsp. vanilla or vanilla flavoring

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter

  • 3 cups quick cook or minute oatmeal

  • Wax paper

  • Large sauce pan

  • Spatula or large spoon

  • Timer

Tip

Allow the mixture to boil exactly for the amount of time mentioned. A mixture that doesn't boil long enough will yield a soft and mushy product and a mixture that boils too long will yield crumbly and dry cookies. If your cookie still doesn't yield the desired consistency, adjust the boiling time accordingly.

For this recipe, use quick or instant oats. Regular oats require more moisture and will yield a dry and crumbly cookie.

If your cookies turn out soft and mushy after they have set, place cookies in the refrigerator or freezer. They will not have the proper consistency, but they will firm up slightly.

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